These Hollow Vows by Lexi Ryan – ARC Review!

Brie hates the Fae and refuses to have anything to do with them, even if that means starving on the street. But when her sister is sold to the sadistic king of the Unseelie court to pay a debt, she’ll do whatever it takes to get her back—including making a deal with the king himself to steal three magical relics from the Seelie court.

Gaining unfettered access to the Seelie court is easier said than done. Brie’s only choice is to pose as a potential bride for Prince Ronan, and she soon finds herself falling for him. Unwilling to let her heart distract her, she accepts help from a band of Unseelie misfits with their own secret agenda. As Brie spends time with their mysterious leader, Finn, she struggles to resist his seductive charm.

Caught between two dangerous courts, Brie must decide who to trust with her loyalty. And with her heart.

My Review.

Thank you to Hodder Books for the review copy. I can confirm all thoughts and opinions are my own.

I really wanted to love this book, and while there were parts of it I definitely enjoyed, there were also parts that I really struggled with. After her mother abandoned Brie and her sister to live with the Fae she has hated them and everything they stand for. She would rather starve than accept their help, but when he sister is sold to the King of the Unseelie court she will do whatever it takes to get her back, even if that means travelling to the Fae lands and accepting help from those she is determined not to trust. Torn between Princes of the Seelie and Unseelie courts, Brie has to decide who she can trust before its too late.

Brie was a character I liked in some ways and in others she annoyed the ever-loving fuck out of me. She has practically raised her sister since they were abandoned by their mother and she would do anything to protect her, even if that means risking her own life in the process. She is tough and resilient after having to steal to ensure they survive so you would assume this would make her slightly savvy and you would be partially right. However, when it comes to matters of the heart, Brie is about as un-savvy as it gets. As for our two Fae princes, we have the typical bad boy as well as the ‘saviour’ style character, both of whom were using Brie, and while I didn’t mind Finn, Ronan was the biggest douche ever and I found myself constantly screaming at the book and getting incredibly frustrated that Brie couldn’t see how toxic his behaviour was.

I’m not normally bothered by a love triangle but this one was written so badly. For a book that is supposed to be about finding love, Brie is thirsty af which, I wont lie, I wouldn’t normally mind, but she just seemed to lust over these guys so much that she completely ignored all the toxic shit they were throwing her way and boy was there a lot of it. Both of the guys were using her for their own agendas, but while she would constantly not trust and give grief to one she accepted the behaviour and much worse from the other. The main relationship was incredibly controlling and toxic as hell, and there just seemed to be no base for their romance other than how good he looked without a shirt on.

The world building and overall mystery of the book were enjoyable, as was the ending. There were plenty of plot twists, some I saw coming and others I definitely didn’t, but because I really struggled with the romance plot which played a large part in the story, these really saved the book for me and ensured I carried on reading until the end. Ryan also weaves in story lines from well known fairy tales such as Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast, but makes sure that her story strays enough from the original stories to keep you on your toes. While there was some Fae trickery I was kind of underwhelmed by it, maybe I was expecting it to be a little darker? I don’t really know, but I just never felt like Brie was in any real danger, and I LOVE my dark Fae shenanigans.

The ending definitely took me by surprise, and because of it I would probably pick up book two, but I really hope the author grows Brie’s character more in it. I really struggled to relate to or bond with her in any way, and instead found myself caring more for some of the side characters, mainly the ones from Finns band of merry misfits. Overall the book was ok, I certainly didn’t love it and wont be rushing to get my hands on book two. Readers who dislike love triangles, or romances that tend more towards the lust than love may want to give this one a pass.

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